Tanzania receives five bids for four oil and gas blocks in its latest licensing round

offshore tanzania-QR9iudjz0 sxc optTanzania has 1.3 trillion cubic metres of proven natural gas reserves. (Image source: QR9iudjz0/sxc.hu)Tanzania has received five bids for only four oil and gas blocks out of the eight it had offered in its fourth bidding round, industry sources announced

The east African country, which has made big discoveries of natural gas off its southern coast, had offered seven deep-sea offshore blocks and one block in Lake Tanganyika.

Four offshore blocks namely 4/3B, 4/4A, 4/4B and 4/5B did not attract any bids, Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) said.

China’s top offshore oil producer CNOOC and Russia’s state-run Gazprom were among companies that submitted bids for the blocks on offer in the fourth round. Statoil and ExxonMobil, which have made gas discoveries off Tanzania, have submitted a joint bid for one of the offshore blocks.

Yona Killagane, MD of the state-run TPDC, said, “The evaluation process will start immediately and we will announce winners of the bids as soon as possible within the time-frame of the fourth licensing round.”

The latest licensing round closed on May 15.

CNOOC will contest with Statoil and ExxonMobil for offshore Block 4/3A, which covers 2,620.3 sq km. Gazprom has applied for Block 4/3B offshore Tanzania, covering an area of 3,045 sq km. UAE state-owned investment firm Mubadala has applied for offshore Block 4/2A, which covers an area of 3,630 sq km, while another UAE firm Ras Al Khaimah Gas has submitted a bid for the Lake Tanganyika North block, with a size of 9,670.2 sq km.

Britain’s BG Group and Ophir Energy, which have been at the forefront of exploration in Tanzania, did not submit any bids for the blocks on offer, Reuters reported.

The deep sea offshore blocks are located in water depths of 2,000 metres to 3,000 metres adjacent to proven prospective blocks, while the Lake Tanganyika North block is in a water depth of 1,500 metres along the east African Rift System.

Tanzania has so far signed 25 production sharing agreements (PSAs) with 17 international energy companies including BG Group, Statoil, Brazil’s Petrobras, Shell, ExxonMobil and Mubadala Petroleum.

Winners of the latest bidding round would be subjected to new PSA terms that experts said toughen some of the conditions for energy firms seeking to explore and develop the east African nation’s big gas prospects.

 

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